The Modern Language Association Essay Format
The Modern Language Association (MLA) is a method for source documentation that is used in almost all humanities courses. When writing an essay in the MLA Format, double spacing is a requirement and under no circumstances should it be single spaced. Headers though not required by the MLA style, help the overall structure and organization of the essay. The general rule is to leave one space after punctuation marks unless otherwise instructed. The margins of an MLA document should be one inch wide and every first line of a paragraph should be indented half an inch to the left. The header is situated at the upper right hand corner and the page number. End notes if included should be on a separate page usually before the Works Cited page. The title should be centered and unformatted just like that of Works Cited.
Unless specified the MLA format does not require a title page. Instead on upper left hand corner of the first page the writer list their name, the instructors name, course and date. Below this insert the title at the center of the page. The title should not be italicized, in quotation marks or underlined, it should however be in title case. If the title is referring to another authors work put the title of the work in quotation marks.
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Works citations in MLA general require the author’s name, work title, publication city, publish year, and basically an indication of the publication medium. For example
Gifford, Holt. Ecology 101.New York: Penguin group 2007. Print
MLA guidelines for online sources were developed on assumption that the content can be found online as long as the author and title was included, eliminating the need for URL listing.
Sponsor, Date created (use n.d. if not available) Medium, Date accessed.
Using of block quoted whenever citations are longer than four typed lines. These quotes begin on a new line double spaced and are indented. Quotation marks are not needed here and if a source has more than three authors, the first author’s last name followed by “et al” is used.